“ZVONČICA” Childhood Cancer Parent Organization was founded in 1992, which activities belong to the Department of hematology and oncology at The Mother and Child Health Care Institute of Serbia „Dr Vukan Čupić“ in Belgrade. The organization provides support and help to the children, their families and hospital. Members are parents and close family members of patients, survivors, healthcare workers and friends.
MISSION – to support and assist families of children with cancer at all treatment stages and to provide the best diagnosis, treatment, care and follow-up after the treatment is completed.
VISION – every child with cancer has a chance for life, and parents are equal members of the multidisciplinary treatment team.
We maintain the very first in Serbia, Parents’ House for children with cancer and other rare diseases, who are treated in the Mother and Child Health Care Institute of Serbia. We care about families, we live with them, we know about their problems and we are trying to make their lives easier. We provide psycho social support, food, toiletries, toys, school supplies, seasonal clothing and shoes for children from donations. We take care about mothers to be beautiful and dressed up. We celebrate birthdays, holidays, meet big and small wishes. We welcome guests, receive gifts, we are grateful and we provide the best we can. We communicate with doctors and nurses daily; take care of young patients and their parents on the ward every day. We promote the value of interest-free giving and that every gift is precious. We educate parents, children, families on survival skills, and representatives of the media, politicians, and public figures about the importance of promoting the issue of child cancer. We mediate in communication between parents and doctors, resolve conflicts, calms restlessness, relieve grief, inspire confidence, empower and console ourselves. The more we learn and know, the more we realize how much we still need to learn and progress.
Thanks to donations, we provide modern medical and other hospital equipment, and thus help children have a better diagnosis, treatment and enjoyable stay in the hospital. Our statement is: all the things that help children to get better and that can be provided by money, are not expensive and impossible. We assist and collaborate with different services and departments:
- Department for examination and treatment of hematologic and oncologic diseases: Hemato-oncology section 1, Hemato-onkology section 2 and Hematology day hospital;
- Department for bone marrow transplantation with cryobiology laboratory;
- Department for examination and treatment of metabolic diseases;
- Laboratories and other hospital services.
The first Parents’ House in Serbia, for accommodation children with cancer and other rare diseases, was built at The Mother and Child Health Care Institute of Serbia “Dr Vukan Čupić ” in Belgrade in 2009, based on European model which was introduced in Serbia and the region by “Zvoncica”.
At the beginning of 2008, on the initiative of Prof dr Dragana Vujic, the Head of the Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, Mrs Svetlana Vukajlović (at the time general manager of the National Health Insurance) initiated and organized the fundraising, implementation and complete construction work and equipment with the help of numerous donors, individuals and companies. The investor was “Zvoncica” and facility was built and equipped in record time thanks to the great response of donors and the dedication of all project participants. Construction of the Parents’ house began in May 2009 and opened on February 4th, 2010. The Mother and Child Health Care Institute of Serbia is the largest pediatric medical center and a national pediatric center for bone marrow transplantation, where are treated children from all over Serbia and the neighboring countries.
The Parents’ House is run by “Zvoncica” in collaboration with the hospital. With the help of numerous donors we take care of the house, equipment, servicing, maintenance, repair and renewal of the equipment. We organize various workshops and psycho social programs for children, adolescents and their families. The size of The Parents’ House “Zvoncica” is 840 m² with twelve apartments. There is a common living room, dining room and kitchen, laundry room, classroom and “silence room” for an interview with a psychologist, physician, or for friends’ and relatives’ visits. The Parents’ House is linked with the hospital by a corridor, the ward can be reached in a few minutes, and local telephone connection is available for communication with the medical staff at the ward. Children and their parents feel safe because of the proximity of the hospital, but also relaxed because there is no therapy, no white coats and medical visits. This is a real home away from home